The BNP-led 18-Party Alliance has opted to go for another spate of 60-hour from November 4 to press the demand for election under non-party neutral government. The decision is expected to be announced today.The leaders of the 18-party alliance at a meeting on Wednesday night entrusted BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia with the authority to finalise whether the next course of action would be hartal or blockade.
The meeting was held at BNP Chairperson’s Gulshan office with Khaleda Zia in the chair. Senior leaders of the alliance suggested another three-day hartal from Monday instead of blockade which the BNP standing committee members had planned at another meeting with her earlier on Tuesday night.
An 18-party leader who was present in the meeting told journalists unofficially that most alliance leaders gave their opinions in favour of hartal instead of blockade to force the government for arranging the next polls under a non-party administration.
BNP leaders felt that the people wanted different programmes and that blockade would be more appropriate to mount pressure on the government. Later, the leaders gave Begum Zia the authority to take the final decision.
The alliance leaders suggested that Begum Khaleda Zia should go to talks only if the government invites her with specific agenda on the caretaker government.
BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia earlier and conveyed to them the decisions taken at the BNP standing committee meeting on Tuesday night. The 18-party leaders supported most of the decisions except the blockade, meeting sources said.
Most of the BNP standing committee members opined that the dialogue offer from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was nothing but a stage-managed drama of the government to mislead people, meeting sources said.
The highest policymaking body of BNP, however, opined that the opposition leader should respond positively if the Prime Minister again invites her to dialogue with specific agenda on polls-time non-party government.
They also decided that the 18-party will hold rallies on Saturday across the country, including the capital, demanding the release of the opposition leaders and activists arrested from October 25 to October 29 and protesting the killing, injury, arrest and harassment of opposition men during the period.
BNP and its alliance partners will observe November 8 ‘Resolution and Slidarity Day’ by holding rallies and discussion meetings across the country, sources said.